Pfizer plans contraceptive roll-out

Pfizer has brought in Ruder Finn to handle the European launch of a female contraceptive that is a lower-dose version of its Depo-Provera product.

The agency will promote the as-yet-unbranded quarterly injectable treatment to patient groups and medical journalists and is handling PR for the launch only, likely to be early next year.

The European name of the product – known as Depo-subQ Provera 104 in the US – is likely to be unveiled next year. In the US it is already licensed as both a contraceptive and a treatment for pain associated with endometriosis.

The account is being run from the agency's London office by associate director Tess Wulff. Wulff, who joined Ruder Finn last year and formerly worked at Schering Health Care, reports to
Pfizer's US operations.

The launch campaign will inevitably be boosted by a report from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence last month, which suggested that women should have more contraceptive choice.

The report said contraceptive injections should be offered to more patients by their GPs.

It also argued that fewer women fell pregnant accidentally during a course of injections because they were less likely to forget to take treatment than women on the traditional contraceptive pill.

The news arrives in the same week that the Office of National Statistics published figures suggesting seven per cent of women aged between 16 and 49 had used morning-after contraception in the past year.

Pfizer's quarterly option could help women who have trouble remembering to take their daily pill.

Ruder Finn continues to advise Pfizer on UK and international arthritis-related comms.

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